12 cultural faux pas you should avoid making in Dublin

Dublin, Ireland, is known for its friendly locals, but even Dubliners can get offended if you cross a line. And there are certain actions foreigners tend to do that offend Dubliners.

We consulted a Quora thread on the worst cultural faux pas in Dublin and did some of our own research to find out how travellers can avoid standing out in Dublin.

Here are 12 things to avoid doing when visiting the Irish capital.

1. Not buying a round of drinks when out with a group

The Dubliner Irish pub, DC

If you happen to be out with a group of locals from Dublin, you’ll soon come to find that it’s normal for each person in the group to buy a round for everyone throughout the night. If you don’t reciprocate when you’ve had rounds bought for you, it will be seen as cheap and as a sign of bad class.

2. Keeping your hat on at a bar

This isn’t only the case for Dublin. Irish people traditionally remove their hats at bars. It is considered rude not to remove your hat upon entering a pub, so don’t be surprised if you are asked to do so.

3. Taking yourself too seriously

People laughing

In Dublin and in other parts of Ireland, it is common for people to gently poke fun at you, but they’re doing it in a playful way and as a sign of camaraderie. The term for this is known as “slagging” and it is common, so being bitter about it will only make you come off as cold and uninviting.

4. Making a backwards peace sign with your palm facing inward

V sign

In Dublin, making a peace sign with your palm facing inward (or a V sign), is equivalent to using the middle finger in the US.

5. Ordering an Irish Car Bomb

Irish car bombs

Besides the fact that the Irish Car Bomb is actually an American cocktail — it’s only called Irish thanks to the use of Guinness, Baileys Irish Cream, and Jameson Irish Whiskey — ordering it can actually show insensitivity to the country’s history. Car bombs reference a tough time in Ireland, when a car bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army exploded in a suburban shopping district in 1989.

6. Ordering a light beer

If you’re in the land of Guinness and you order a light beer, chances are you’ll be frowned upon for making a bad choice. It’s not that lighter beers aren’t great, but remember that you’re in a country that takes pride in its renowned dark beer blend.

7. Grabbing your Guinness before the bartender is finished pouring

Guinness pour

Speaking of Guinness, there is a traditional two-step pouring process to the beer which some tourists might not realise. The “perfect pour” is considered a tradition in Ireland and consists of two pours — the first lets the Guinness settle and the second pour tops it off. So, don’t jump the gun and go for your cup too quickly.

8. Asking to open a tab at a bar

While bartenders can open a tab at a bar, they’d rather not as it’s not a common occurrence in Dublin. Typically, people will pay for each drink instead.

9. Calling an Irish person British

While and Ireland and Britain have good relations today, calling an Irish person British becomes offensive when considering the long-standing history of British occupation Ireland faced for hundreds of years.

10. Not attempting to make any small talk during business meetings

Businessmen airport

Alittle bit of small talkduring business meetings, especially during introductions and breaks, isnormal in Ireland. Talking about your families and personal life can actually make you come off as more personable.

11. Wearing novelty Irish souvenirs

While buying Irish souvenirs in Dublin is one thing, wearing them around the city is another. The only time where it doesn’t come off as tacky is on St. Patrick’s Day. That being said, if you find yourself going to a sporting event, wearing green will be much appreciated.

12. Getting off a bus without thanking the driver

It’s common courtesy to thank public bus drivers, but failing to do so in Dublin is looked down upon. In fact, don’t be surprised if you’re on a bus and see each and every individual saying thank you to the driver before leaving.

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